Raisi tells Macron nuclear talks must guarantee Iran's 'rights'

By: AFP      Published: 07:08 PM, 9 Aug, 2021
Raisi tells Macron nuclear talks must guarantee Iran's 'rights'

Iran's new President Ebrahim Raisi on Monday told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron that negotiations with world powers to revive the 2015 nuclear deal must guarantee Tehran's "rights".

"In any negotiation, the rights of the Iranian people must be upheld and the interests of our nation ensured," Raisi said in an hour-long phone call, according to the Iranian presidency's website.

This is Raisi's first reported call with a Western leader since taking office last week.

Raisi took over from Hassan Rouhani, a moderate whose landmark achievement during his two-term presidency was the 2015 nuclear agreement, which provided international sanctions relief in exchange for limitations on Tehran's nuclear programme.

Former US president Donald Trump torpedoed the deal three years later by unilaterally withdrawing Washington from it and reimposing crushing sanctions.

Six rounds of nuclear talks between Iran and world powers were held in Vienna between April and June in an attempt to revive the accord. The last round concluded on June 20, with no date set for another.

Iranian officials have said negotiations will not resume before the new government takes over, while an EU official said at the weekend that meetings could resume in Vienna from early September.

The accord's remaining parties are Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.

"The Americans clearly violated their obligations by imposing new sanctions," Raisi told Macron, while also stressing the "failure" of European members of the deal to help Iran circumvent US sanctions.

In response to the reimposed US sanctions, Tehran pulled back from most of its main nuclear commitments under the deal.

During his swearing-in ceremony on Thursday, Raisi repeated Tehran's official position that it was pursuing only "peaceful" nuclear technology, and said that he will support "any diplomatic plans" to lift the sanctions on his country.

Tehran has recently also faced warnings and accusations from Israel and its allies over a deadly tanker attack, for which it denies responsiblity.

The MT Mercer Street, an oil products tanker operated by Israeli-controlled Zodiac Maritime, was struck on July 29 off Oman's coast. Two crew members, a Briton and a Romanian, were killed.

Iran has warned Israel not to take military action against it after its arch-foe threatened Tehran over the tanker attack.

"The Islamic republic is very serious about providing security and maintaining deterrence in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman Region," Raisi told Macron, without referring directly to the incident or the accusations.

Iran "will confront elements that deprive the region of its security", he added.

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